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Old 01-10-2013, 01:15 PM   #161
Catherine
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Chairock: The information I have on Dougie's condition was that although he was what we used to refer to as being "a bit slow", he still was quite savvy, especially at his uncles place - he went there a lot.
ADKman: I believe Dougie knew and was inadvertently a part of something which would destroy the family, particularly both uncles and he may have gotten old enough to know it was wrong and decided to tell and told his uncle so. The "something" is very likely to be something you don't discuss at the dinner table and in 1971, if you told anyone including your parents, they probably wouldn't believe it. This could also been a motive for Dougie to run away, rather than be offed, but either is possible.
St. Regis: There was no "group" on that hike - only his uncle who changed his story several times. I don't believe the family was involved, with the exception of one or two. In fact, several years ago, some of the family showed up at the Gate House requesting permission to drive into the lodge to memorialize Dougie - their first trip there since 1971. Permission was granted and they spent an hour or so at the Camp.

The plot thickens, doesn't it?
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:34 PM   #162
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She asked me where is the body. My answer was if it were me I'd put it in the car trunk and dump it off site before calling the police.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #163
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I have an alibi. I was a teenager in NYC at the time!
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:46 PM   #164
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I have an alibi. I was a teenager in NYC at the time!
Well at least now your daughter knows what she should do.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:21 PM   #165
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Herkimite indicated only two NY mountains are above 5,000 feet: Marcy is 5444, Algonquin is 5114 and Santanoni is close at 4607. As I reported, all three were searched and they are, in fact, as the bird flies, only roughly 8 miles each or less from Camp Santanoni. In fact, my information states that the trail from Camp Santanoni to Lake Placid was searched thoroughly all the way, including dogs. Believe me, the entire region was searched and even the smaller mountains seemed much steeper in the July heat and bugs! If you participated in the search in any way or know of someone who did, their information and testimony is important. Again. thanks!
Crow flies = 8 miles is worlds away from a person walking the same distance on the same line on the ground. Also, in the climbers world, (espescially ADK climbers) 4607 is not at all close to 5000 feet.

Because of the subject matter of your book you are going to get a lot of people with an attachment or interest in all things Adirondack to purchase copies. (hopefully) I think its very important for you to interview a couple of very experienced climbers or backpackers or at the very least find some to help you edit the technical information in your book related to the facts and figures of the area in the story you are telling. Unfortunately, a lot of folks will look at the whole thing as a work of fiction if the basic facts aren't in proper order. I know thats what you are NOT trying to write here. If you get the facts about the peaks and trails right, that audience (which could be a significant portion of your intended readership) will be a lot more receptive to the rest of your theories. Getting that wrong could have much the opposite effect.

I have always been interested in the Douglas Legg story. I have my own theories, and frankly they aren't pleasent and some of the details which support my theory aren't appropriate for public discussion in a forum like this in my opinion. Catherine, if you are interested in what I have to say about my own personal theories you can ask me in a PM and I would be glad to respond. I think its a great thing you are doing and I look forward to being able to buy a copy of my own. Thanks.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:02 AM   #166
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Thanks Commission Point! I have privately e-mailed you.
Now...is there anyone else who cares to share info privately? Somebody out there has the missing links - we need to gather them.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:31 AM   #167
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Catherine, I understand that most of the adults are dead. Any thought of interviewing the brother, cousin or sister?

I'm going on memory here but wasn't Douglas playing with his brother and cousin by the bridge when the uncle came by for his hike? The brother was at least 3 years older than Douglas making him around 12 or 13 at the time.

Initially the search took place on the wrong side of the Lake before the kids said that they saw Douglas pass them by the beach on the other side of the lake. This is key evidence. Is the brother completely sure or did he think he saw him and what took 2 days to reveal this fact to the police. Be interesting to get the kid's perspective.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:13 AM   #168
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Cityboy: The family has not cooperated in the past, but I haven't tried again in the last 10 years. That's next on my agenda. I'm not sure about the brother's testimony, but it did take time for DEC to find out where the kids last saw Dougie. I understand the delay was because the Melvins would not permit them to speak to the children so DEC ended up searching the wrong area. So a few days into the search in the middle of the summer, DEC had a small chance to find Dougie still alive. This is what so angered the DEC leader I interviewed. If I had my hands on the police reports, this information would be much clearer.
Another note of interest is: In the mid 1980's, a judge who I knew well said he knew a high up investigator at the State Police and he offered to call him to try to get the records. The answer the judge was given was: "Unless you're the #%@^#&$ governor, no one is going to see the records". At that point, the judge advised me to proceed very carefully and not to carry my notebooks and records on the case in my car! What were they so afraid of?
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:27 AM   #169
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Cityboy: What were they so afraid of?
It could be one of two things...

One being a cover up of foul play by a wealthy connected family or

it could be a case of a wealthy connected family looking for privacy after tragic loss.

Makes me wonder what purpose opening up old wounds would serve...could be to find justice for Douglas, or something else that might be even darker than we would like to admit.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:03 AM   #170
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Chairrock: Could be both of your suggestions.
And yes, it may be darker, i.e. someone getting away murder to protect their own hides!
If so, I don't believe there have been any deathbed confessions and perhaps there should have been.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:17 AM   #171
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Chairrock: Could be both of your suggestions.
And yes, it may be darker, i.e. someone getting away murder to protect their own hides!
If so, I don't believe there have been any deathbed confessions and perhaps there should have been.
Are we going to have to buy your book or are you going to share your theories beforehand?
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:50 AM   #172
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Are we going to have to buy your book or are you going to share your theories beforehand?
Better question would be when can we buy your book? Do you have a target publishing date?

We hope to come back to the Adirondacks for vacation this summer; first time since the 25th anniversary of Wilderness SAR in '05 (Actually founded as Tompkins County SAR after the Legg search in 1971), and only the 2nd time since we moved to MN, 25 years ago. I would love to look at your research at that time. I interviewed a number of people who were actually on that search for my then job at WTKO, and met others from CA and WA in later years.

The state police bloodhounds were a vital part of the search effort. Jim Suffolk worked the mission every day until his Major (troop commander from Oneida barracks) told him he HAD to take time off, the Division couldn't pay for his time any more. So he stuck his dog in the Troop B Ray Brook kennel, drove his NYSP truck back to Oneida, picked up his family station wagon and some work clothes, drove back to Ray Brook and picked up the dog, and went right back to the search. All non-stop. Spent the remaining two weeks of the main search using up his vacation time.

Lesser known is the fact that the Legg search marked the first time air-scenting dogs, German Shepherds from the newly formed American Rescue Dog Association in Renton, WA, were used in New York, or for that matter, on the east coast. Bill and Jeanne Syrotuck and members of their unit were joined by USAF officers from Rome, Don Arner and Al Kreutzer, and Penny and Tim Sullivan and Emil Pelcak from the Harriman Park area downstate. The Seattle-based folks were much more able to deal with the Adirondack forest and mountains than the MRA team from arrid California. Don and Al went on to form the Adirondack Rescue Dog Association; the Sullivans had already started the Ramapo Rescue Dog Association (still operational) in the New Jersey/New York border region.

Man...I have been asked to write this all down before, and never have. It opens up a lot of memories, good and bad.

Press on,
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:08 PM   #173
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Perhaps a tie in donation to High Peaks Foundation would help promote your book!
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:58 PM   #174
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Thank you all for your input.
I hope that we have all had our memories jogged and maybe someone will come up with more info than they thought they knew! I also hope I'll live long enough to get this book together. Now that I'm retired, I'm on it like a bloodhound :-) We should never let this story die - it's an important part of the Adirondack history.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:51 PM   #175
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How did the Melvins know to bring in the folks from the MRA and Sierra Madre Search and Rescue in Pasadena, CA? Because on December 4, 1970, seven months before Dougie went missing, the Alcoa Hour aired a documentary called, "RESCUE: The Search for Billy" about an arduous, 99 hour search for an 11-year-old boy, who got separated from his Boy Scout troop in the mountains outside of Los Angeles.

The comparisons were many; a young boy wanders away from his group, and pretty much vanished. Search teams from across the mountain west came together to help (CA, OR, WA, UT and MT have had very organized SAR programs since just after WWII), but after four days, were getting ready to give up, and shut the search effort down, when a member of Sierra Madre saw something out of the ordinary in the bushes. It was Billy and he was alive. Perhaps the family hoped for the same kind of miracle for Douglas, when they flew the team from CA to NY.

There is also still the story of Stephen Thomas, never found after he walked away from a campsite near Mount Marcy. George Atkinson, found after 3 years, during the search for Thomas. I was on both of those searches. There are many stories, that make up the histroy of search and rescue in New York State. People have been asking me for years to write it down.

Maybe next year, after I retire from the DNR, I'll write a book.

Stay safe,
Hans
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:15 PM   #176
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That would be an interesting read Trailpatrol. Lots of unexplained hings and people just vanishing.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:40 PM   #177
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Hey Trailpatrol. I'm diggin' the new bike avatar. Good stuff.

Catherine, I replied to your message. Feel free to reach out anytime.
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Old 01-11-2013, 11:44 PM   #178
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Hey Trailpatrol. I'm diggin' the new bike avatar. Good stuff.

Catherine, I replied to your message. Feel free to reach out anytime.
Thank you. In addition to being a MN State Park Ranger, several weekends each summer I am a volunteer Backcountry Ranger for the US Forest Service on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin. I got into it during the 3 years between my job as a county park ranger and going to work for the state. I love the USFS, so I never gave it up, and hope to continue as long as I can ride a mountain bike.

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Old 01-12-2013, 12:09 AM   #179
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Thank you. In addition to being a MN State Park Ranger, several weekends each summer I am a volunteer Backcountry Ranger for the US Forest Service on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Wisconsin. I got into it during the 3 years between my job as a county park ranger and going to work for the state. I love the USFS, so I never gave it up, and hope to continue as long as I can ride a mountain bike.

Hans
Hans, you seem very dedicated to your career. Your time as a reporter during the Legg incident obviously had a profound impact on you.

I have been going out into the woods every spare moment since I was Dougies age, maybe younger, completing my fist winter overnight and climb of an Adirondack High Peak at age 14 on Algonquin. I still climb peaks, having in the last few years found a renewed interest in it.

Of all the stories I have heard over the years about people and places in the Adirondacks, Dougies story out at that Camp remains the one that intrigues me the most. There are several things that are certain. Among those are that the investigation was atypical on many levels, from the command, to the handling of potential witnesses, to the inadvertent wasted time in the field searching in the wrong places as a result. That the family was not 100% forthcoming about what they all knew, and that the records of the investigation are not being released for any reason whatsoever. There is clearly more going on here than the public has thus far been allowed to know.

Catherine can't get enough praise from me about her manuscript. I am very excited about it. I truly believe that the right motivated person with the right connections and contacts can now finally put enough pieces of the story together in a clear and concise manner to answer some of the unknowns once and for all. I for one would be thrilled to get some answers, not only for the public, but more importantly, for Dougie. the judges and politicians of the time are getting old now if they are still around at all. Maybe some of them have some things they would like to unburden themselves with so they can spend their last days in peace.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:59 AM   #180
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Another interesting item: Several years ago, a man I worked with was very interested in this story. It so happened that one of his relatives who lives mid-state had a get together of family and friends and a number of those friends happened to be NYS Police. During the event, he asked if anyone knew anything about the disappearance of Douglas Legg. He said the room went silent - you could hear a pin drop. Apparently they have been "muzzled" - again, why????
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